Asa Hutchinson, the current governor of Arkansas, is term limited.
The governor’s mansion is expected to stay in Republican control. While the state has elected Democrats in recent history — from former governor and President Bill Clinton to former Sen. Mark Pryor more recently — Arkansas has politically veered right over the last decade. The state backed Trump with more than 62% of the vote in November.
Sanders’ run and expected primary challenge could represent a good test of Trump’s continued hold on the Republican Party. Not only is Sanders well-liked by the President — unlike many in Trump’s orbit, she left the White House on good terms and in the President’s good graces — but the primary experience she is expected to tout on the campaign trail is her work with Trump.
“She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job,” Trump tweeted when Sanders was leaving the White House. “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas—she would be fantastic.”
This story has been updated with additional developments.